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Mixed Reviews on Paris Club; SoNo Wood Fired Inconsistent

Paris Club
Paris Club
Photo: Facebook

Julia Kramer gives Paris Club 3 (out of 5) stars and is certain she can predict your review depending on whether you are there because you like Hub 51 and the Melman brothers or if you are there to try the updated French cuisine from the impressive roster of chefs. She thinks although the menu is “sprawling,” it lacks interest “in the charms of classic French food—or in any one distinctive style of cooking, for that matter.” She does enjoy some of her dishes, including the seafood platter, which she describes as “simultaneously classic and contemporary,” as well as Paris Club’s take on “coq au vin.” Other menu items like the croque-monsieur “fingers” fall flat, describing it as “a particularly goofy appetizer that tastes like bad pizza.”

But despite her mixed thoughts on the food, Kramer does enjoy the atmosphere. “They’ve created another restaurant with great energy and not even a whisper of pretentiousness, and they’ve got people (even the ones hating on croque-monsieur fingers) having fun in the process.” [TOC]

On the other hand, Mike Sula, had very few positive things to say about his experience at Paris Club. He calls the menu “unfocused” and the food a “Disney-esque approximation of French food.” He describes the escargots bourguignonne as “physically inedible” and the steak frites as “a piece of gnarly, pounded Steak-umm grade beef accompanied by dry, overfried frites.” On a slightly positive note, Sula states, with such a large menu, “a judicious selection of small plates could make a decent meal here.”

As for the atmosphere, he feels there is a “sharp, persistent barnyard aroma” hanging over the place, but thinks the type of crowd they are shooting for won’t know the difference. [Chicago Reader]

Serious Eats Chicago contributor, Daniel Zemans thinks SoNo Wood Fired is as much about substance as style, but fails to be consistent. He appreciates the flavors of the Spinaci pizza, but thinks it “lacks balance.” He enjoyed the sopressata on the Sopressata Diavola but felt the mozzarella “was not as creamy as I expect when getting the good stuff from buffaloes.” The crust was on two ends of the spectrum, with one pizza perfectly cooked and the other that “went deep into burnt territory.” The fried artichoke bits were a highlight, and they were “impossible to stop eating.” Although he isn’t giving SoNo a “ringing endorsement,” he thinks it is a welcome addition to the neighborhood. [Slice]

Sono Wood Fired

1582 N Clybourn Avenue, Chicago, IL 60642 312 255 1122 Visit Website

Paris Club Bistro and Bar

59 W Hubbard Street, Chicago, IL 60654 312 595 0800 Visit Website